Shrimps’ boss is hoping for happier days under the club’s new owners

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley hopes the club can plan for a brighter future under their new owners.

The build-up to the final game of the season at Coventry City had been overshadowed with the news that Bond Group Investments Ltd had acquired a majority shareholding.

Everyone associated with the club could be forgiven for taking the new owner news with a pinch of salt given their ownership issues within the last couple of years.

Wages have not been paid on time, there was also a transfer embargo and concerns over the club’s future.

That’s not to mention the lack of training facilities which has seen the club having to beg, borrow and steal the pitches at Lancaster and Morecambe College.

However, Bentley is optimistic that Bond Group’s arrival heralds a new dawn rather than a case of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’

“I’ve had the one meeting with the board and the new owners,” the manager said.

“They seem pretty positive but, like anything, these things will take time.

“There has been a lot of uncertainty and negativity surrounding the club over the last couple of seasons.

“The new owners will, slowly but surely, start stamping their mark on things.

“They have ideas and, hopefully, things will start to turn around.”

The final day point at Coventry meant the Shrimps avoided the drop into the National League on goal difference with Barnet joining Chesterfield in the final relegation place.

It’s the second time in the last three seasons that Morecambe have finished in the bottom four as they come up against sides with bigger budgets and attendances.

Although there have criticisms of Morecambe’s style of play and their falling gates, Bentley believes avoiding relegation is a notable enough feat.

“We’ve stayed in the league for 11 years and that’s an unbelievable achievement for a club of our size,” he said.

“Hopefully, the new owners will put certain things in place; they won’t throw large amounts of money at things but things are stable and there’s a little bit of positivity.

“That’s what we’ve needed to go in the right direction; other clubs have done it and improved so we’ll hopefully do the same.

“There a lot of things to sort out because the club has been a mess and there is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes.

“You can’t expect things to go from one extreme to the other straight away.

“However, the new owners are positive and that will hopefully rub off on the club and everyone associated with it.”